There are signs that you can be on the lookout for regardless of whether your hair is long, short, curly, or stick-straight. “Truthfully, it is best to give you hair a trim before these signs because once you see them there is already damage done,” says Philip B. “If you can get in front of it, your hair will always appear its healthiest, shiniest and retain the most moisture, bounce, and body.” Sometimes it’s not possible to stop damage before it starts, so here are telltale signs that you need a haircut:

  • You notice split ends.
  • Your hair tangles easily and snags at the bottom.
  • The ends of your hair have a sticky, almost gummy texture.
  • Your curl patterns start losing or changing their shape.
  • The ends of your hair start fraying and breaking off into many splits.
  • Split ends are traveling up your hair shaft.

The absolute maximum amount of time that he would wait for a hair cut? Six months.